Changes in neural activity drive changes in local blood flow in the brain. These changes in cerebral hemodynamics are important for maintaining normal brain health, and are used for non-invasively inferring neural activity. However, hemodynamic signals can decouple from local neural activity, making the understanding of the mechanism of this decoupling critical for interpreting and decoding hemodynamic signals. We hypothesize that hemodynamic signals in a given brain area are controlled by both vasodilatory signals released by local neurons, and by vasoconstrictory neuromodulation, specifically noradrenaline, both of which will vary with behavioral state, such locomotion. We will mechanistically test this hypothesis using optical imaging (intrinsic optical signal imaging and 2-photon microscopy), local pharmacological infusions, chemogenetics, oxygen polarography, and electrophysiology in awake mice. These experiments will elucidate how noradrenergic modulation, which is involved in alertness and attention, interacts with local neural activity to generate changes in blood flow and oxygenation. The end result of these experiments will be a unified understanding of how neural activity and neuromodulation control hemodynamic signals during behavior. 1

Public Health Relevance

Cerebral blood flow is controlled by local neural activity and global neuromodulatory state. This proposal will determine how neural activity and neuromodulation combine to generate changes in hemodynamic signals and oxygenation, allowing a more accurate interpretation of hemodynamic signals. 1

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Research Project (R01)
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Mechanisms of Sensory, Perceptual, and Cognitive Processes Study Section (SPC)
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Babcock, Debra J
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Pennsylvania State University
Engineering (All Types)
Biomed Engr/Col Engr/Engr Sta
University Park
United States
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